RECRUITING: Tampa OL takes notice of OU in Draft

Tampa, Fla. OL Daron Rose talks about his game, interest in OU if he'll stay in Florida.


Florida always turns out a ton of skill players every year, but when you think about all the great linemen that come out of the state you can't just say that Florida is a skill state.

Florida turns out some of the top linemen in the country every year, and this year Daron Rose is one of the very best offensive linemen in the state and in the country as well.

Rose broke into the starting line-up as a freshman at left tacke weighing in at 230 pounds. As a sophomore, he grew to 260. And then last year, he played at an even 300 pounds.

"I finally just grew into my body," said Rose. "I was so tall and skinny my freshman year, but I started lifting weights and working out and I just started to grow. It has been a gradual process and with my lifting and I have been able to put on good weight."

Rose benches 345 pounds, squast 505 and he has posted a 25-inch vertical jump. Rose also starts in hoops averaging 13 points and 13 rebounds a game.

Rose attended the ‘Down and Dirty' linemen camp his freshman year held at St. Leo in Tampa, which is known as one of the top down linemen camps in the country.

"It was an eye-opening experience for me as a freshman to compete in that camp," said Rose. "Everybody was so much bigger than me. I wasn't a little guy, but I had not filled out yet. I was just hoping that I could get as big as some of these guys. I also was still learning how to play the offensive line so it forced me to play with good technique, or what technique that I had. It was pretty tough on me, but I held my own and learned some lesions on how to play in the offensive line."

Rose has already been offered by 32 schools, and more are on the way.

"I have not narrowed my choices down at all because I am still waiting on schools to send their offers to me," said Rose. "I am still waiting on offers from Florida State and Oklahoma. I know those offers will be here soon. USC had indicated they are going to offer me when they come down to watch me in the spring. At the end of spring, I want to have my schools down to 15 and by the time school starts I would like to have my choices cut to seven.

"Growing up I always like Notre Dame. They were one of the early schools to offer me. Oklahoma told my coach that their offer is on the way and my coach says they are starting to recruit me hard. They are also going to come down in the spring to see me."

So what is it he likes about the Sooners?

"I like Oklahoma a lot. They have one of the top programs in the country and one of the top coaching staffs in college football. You can get a real good education at OU, and they play in a great football conference. OU is winning all the time and they are beginning to turn out great offensive linemen.

"They just had the first offensive linemen taking in the NFL draft and they will probably have another first round draft choice next year. They have a great program and it is one that I have to consider."

Many times top players in Florida are reluctant to leave the state, especially when the big three in Florida are recruiting them. But Rose says he isn't afraid to leave home.

"I don't mind leaving home, but I don't want to make it real difficult for my family to see me play," said Rose. "Oklahoma is about as far West as I really want to go, but a program like USC might get me to expand my thinking.

"Oklahoma would be easy to get to and they are on television so much that my family could watch just about every game that they couldn't get to in person. I guess I would like to stay to a certain region, but that region is pretty large."

Rose has qualified.

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